The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is responding after a class action lawsuit was submitted against it by property owners in Muskoka.

The group of residents recently filed a lawsuit to sue the MNRF for $900 million for damages caused by flooding in the spring.

MNRF official Jolanta Kowalski says on behalf of the ministry, they are very sympathetic to those affected by the flooding.

However, she says the flooding and resulting damages were caused by conditions beyond the ministry’s control.

She says over 170 millimetres of rain fell unexpectedly over a short period of time, which, coupled with the high winds and ice flows, was a major factor in the flooding.

Kowalski says the ministry monitors watershed conditions and reports water levels and other details to to municipalities and emergency responders.

But, she says ministry dams are not designated to be flood control structures and are not able to store or hold back flood waters.

The group suing the ministry, made up of property owners on Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph and Lake Muskoka claim the ministry is directly responsible for the mismanagement of water levels.